Public Release: 

Facebook likes don't make you feel better

Getting 'likes' on social media posts doesn't lift your mood

British Psychological Society

Receiving 'likes' on social media posts doesn't make people feel better about themselves or improve their mood if they are down.

These are the findings of a preliminary study presented at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Brighton on Wednesday 3 May 2017, by Dr Martin Graff from University of South Wales.

A total of 340 participants recruited via Twitter and Facebook completed personality questionnaires. They were also asked to say how much they agreed or disagreed with 25 statements relating to the ways people appreciate being valued on social media. For example 'the attention I get from social media makes me feel good' or 'I consider someone popular based on the amount of likes they get'.

Analysis revealed that participants who said they went out of their way to get more likes (such as asking others or paying) were more likely to have low self-esteem and be less trusting. The same was true of those who admitted deleting posts or making a picture their profile picture on account of the number of likes it received.

The results also showed that receiving likes didn't actually make people feel any better about themselves or make them feel better when they were down.

Dr Graff said: "The proliferation of social media use has led to general concerns about the effects on our mental health. Although this is just a relatively small scale study the results indicate that the ways we interact with social media can affect how we feel and not always positively."

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For further information BEFORE THE CONFERENCE contact the British Psychological Society Press Centre: 0116 252 9500 / 07773 173 510 or email presscentre@bps.org.uk

DURING THE CONFERENCE (3 to 5 May) call the conference press office on: 07793 800 366 / 07773 173 510 or email presscentre@bps.org.uk

PR17.039 Thursday 27 April

Editor's notes

The British Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference takes place from 3 - 5 May 2017 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. For details of the programme visit: http://www.bps.org.uk/ac2017

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #bpsconf

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The BPS is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. We are responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good. For more information visit http://www.bps.org.uk

University of South Wales: With more than 30,000 students from 120 countries, the University of South Wales (USW) is a major player in UK higher education. Within the United Kingdom, USW is unique in the breadth of its role, encompassing a modern university and two subsidiaries in Wales's national conservatoire, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and The College Merthyr Tydfil.

With campuses in Cardiff, Pontypridd and Newport, the University is renowned for its partnerships with major employers, from British Airways and the BBC, to the National Health Service. Its relationship with employers as a leading university for careers is reflected in the high employment rate of its graduates, with 94% of students in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

USW is a powerhouse in applied research used to shape major decisions. As a major public policy think-tank, it offers independent advice to government, industry and employers across the UK on health, education, economic growth, social policy, and governance.

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